typica haiti
Typica variety cherries in southeast Haiti.

Variety: (n.) a certain subspecies of the beautiful, diverse, life-giving coffee plant.

Thousands of years ago, humans discovered the energetic properties of a small shrub of the genus coffea. Over the centuries we’ve learned how to tame, cultivate, and process this little shrub, helping it come to taste exactly how we’d like it to taste. Throughout this process, nature and/or humans selected certain favorite plants (first for taste, then for productivity), encouraging subspecies that we call “varieties.” Some of these varieties were naturally occurring, some of them we groomed and cultivated to form new varieties (called “cultivars”). After years of evolving and breeding, these varieties have distinct tastes and characteristics that inform our coffee-drinking preferences. Typica, caturra, bourbon, geisha, and more – What’s your favorite variety?

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